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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Nous voulons continuer

by Olivier Mayer

"We Want to Continue"

Translated Thursday 21 December 2006, by Henry Crapo

For the communist leader, "to renounce the benefits of the movement for unity would be senseless"

"We have a real debate, why deny it? There are discordant aspects and different opinions by the party members in our assemblies. The debate is serene, and we must look at it in its totality. The comrades are trying to find a way to advance." The first words of Marie-George Buffet before the communist bureau were to call for a respectful debate. "Be attentive to what we say, and build ’all together’ in the party and in the collectives."

The national secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF) then insisted on the road travelled together: "We posed an enormous task for ourselves in 2002, in learning the necessary lessons from our failures, in calling for ’a revolution on the Left’, and ceaselessly since that time, to have opened that road to the Left."

This ambition to change the balance on the Left is neither wrong nor out-dated. Rather, she continued, "I have the conviction that any other road will lead the men and women of this land straight into a wall." The battle has seen us pursue a beautiful road, in 2004, 2005, 2006, in the construction of the anti-liberal united front. This has no reason to be tallied and filed among the wins and losses of our adventure. It is, rather, an significant advantage for the future.

So, what should we do today? "I believe", Marie-George Buffet confirms, "that we should be present in the process of assembly. I hear what the comrades are saying. I hear what is being said in the collectives.There is no reversal of opinion that says ’it’s all over, it’s finished’. I hear instead that many wish to continue. Me, too, I want to continue. It’s not because there is a blockage at the top that we should quit. I think this is the message that we should succeed in passing along to all those men and women with whom we work, that we want to continue."

The national secretary then took up the question of her candidature. "To wish to continue, does this mean that I must pull out? This, as far as I am concerned, and I say calmly, is no problem if it means that we can have a true assembly of political forces favoring the commitment of the communists. Should this be constructed around another communist candidate? Or could we be part of this process, continue to construct this assembly, while still maintaining our proposition of candidature? My opinion is that to remove this candidature would be a source of new disillusionment. For the moment, no solution has truly ripened, a solution that would permit this famous consensus, and would permit us to get started on an offensive and ambitions campaign."

"The collectives were instructed to make their positions clear. They spoke. We have spoken for respect for democracy and the views of the collectives. If another candidate comes forward, this can’t be negotiated outside the collectives, among the organizations."

Marie-George Buffet calls for a continuation of the process of consultation of local collectives, decided in Saint-Ouen. She proposes that the PCF renew, this morning, its propositions to the political organizations, also on Tuesday to the National Collective, and to call on the communists to make a clear decision on this alternative: seek to create conditions for an assembly around the majority in the collectives, or withdraw my candidature".

Then, she concluded, "I propose that we take a strong stand on Thursday and Friday in the direction of the men and women of the Left, to say that, starting from the democratic legitimacy provided by the collectives, the militants of the collectives wish that all those join with them who wish to see the anti-liberal assembly go all the way, and enter the campaign in such a way as to respond to the expressed popular demand. This is urgent, because if we continue to be absent from the political landscape, it’s all over not only for the PCF, but also for the new road to the Left.

See also:

— The Ballot Distributed to Party Members

— The Communists Want M.-G. Buffet and Unity

— A Decisive Week

— Resignations

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